Over 500 candidates from 80 countries were sworn in as new U.S. citizens at the 28th Annual Naturalization Ceremony at the Seattle Center. The annual event marks the end of a multi-year process of naturalization that includes a civics and history exam, residency requirements, filing fees and background checks. The Philippines, India, Mexico, and Somalia had the highest numbers of candidates represented.
Alma Plancich, executive director of Ethnic Heritage Council and event organizer, encouraged the new citizens to find ways to preserve their culture in their new country. “You must never forget why you came to this country,” Plancich said, “Whatever it takes to remember where you come from.”